The Colors Of My Life

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This is the kind of thing I dream about my friends…..and then I write it down:

Red ~ Love. The color of my neck and cheeks when I get really mad or nervous. Passion. My daughter looks great in bright red lipstick…I don’t. The smell of fire (one of my favorite smells). Blood (I could never be in the medical field). I once had a dining room that was dark red. The broken capillaries on my nose. My favorite scarf. Anger. Wine.

Orange ~ The Netherlands (the home country of my husband, and their national color). Freshman year in high school when orange was going to be “my color” for the year (who has a “color” for the year?!). Juice. Basketball. (I was always tall, and the coach always wanted me to play, but I was terrible, so I never played. Height doesn’t mean talent). Contentment. Marriage.

Yellow ~ Favorite color. My bedroom carpet when I was in 5th grade. Sunshine. Happiness. Margaritas. Smiley faces. My first car (yes, it was neon yellow…by choice!). Warmth. Roses. Being myself.

Green ~ Envy. Fresh cut grass (also a favorite smell). Absinthe. Money. Arthichokes (yum!). Christmas trees. Spring. My daughter’s eyes. Melancholy. Go! Possibilities. Insecurity.

Blue ~ My passport. Sky. California coast. Sadness. I look great in turquoise. Calming. Sno cones. Divorce. Travel. Balloons.

Purple ~ My youngest daughter’s room. Royalty. Loyalty. Grapes. Wine (again). Sophistication. Barney. One-eyed, one horned, flying people eater (if you are my age or older, you will understand). The smell of lavender. Velvet. Strength.

All of this makes up the multi-faceted being I call ME……. now, just for fun, take a few minutes to write down what first comes to mind when you think of the colors of your life. Why not?

Happy Sunday my friend.

Kalee xo

No High Horses Required

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Okay, I’m going here with this one, so just hold on tight………..Public Service Announcement: Please put your fucking high horses away!! They are not wanted. They are not necessary. They are not loving. They are not accepting. They are full of judgment. They are not required…..

I used to ride a “high horse” though…for years….everyday. Oh, yes! I was so high on my own life choices, and on what I thought was best for not only me, but for anyone else I came across, that I rode through life judging others. I would try to help my friends and family make different choices, or get them to join whatever road I was traveling down at the time, (because WHY wouldn’t they want to??!), but the problem with that was, that they never asked me to help them make different choices. But in my mind, they NEEDED to make the same choices I was making. I held expectations on people that I never told them about, or that we ever discussed together, but yet, when they didn’t meet those expectations, I was disappointed, not in myself, but in them! Yes, my “high horse” was not put in the stable at night, but stayed with me 24 hours a day, and I rode it everywhere…..AND I was miserable.

Of course, to the world looking in, I looked extremely happy and in control. I was just one of those people who was organized and could “get things done”. I had a great marriage, (well, not so great, and I take 80% of the blame on that), I had 2 great kids (absolutely great!), stayed at home with the kids, community volunteer, etc., etc., etc…….However, I was miserable. My unwillingness to accept myself for who I truly was, (you see, my vision for what I “thought” I wanted to be like and what I wanted my life to look like, was very different than who I truly am as a person…), was making me so unhappy, that it was just easier for me to focus on everyone else’s problems than my own. Who wants to actually admit and say out loud, that they are playing a role, and not being genuine to themselves or others? For a long time, I didn’t…until it came to the point where if I kept pushing the “real me” away, I knew it would lead to a dead end road……

Flash forward many years, and I am able to look back on that Kalee and celebrate that she is gone. But it was hard! It was so difficult to put a mirror in front of me and have the reflection back on myself and take it off other people. But after a lot of self-growth and honesty with myself, I made the changes necessary to get to where I am today. My life looks very different than it did years ago, but I am truly happy. Let me be clear though, my life is not perfect, and never will be, but it is definitely the most real and raw life I could have ever imagined living.

What I am most happy about though is that I recognize the “high horses” others ride around on, and now realize that they are self-induced. When their judgements come my way, I know not to get upset because their actions are a reflection of them, and not me. I realize that when they are putting other people down, or acting like an asshole, that it actually is all about them…and not me….and not YOU, my friend! Yes, “high horses” are easy to hop on, but very difficult to dismount. But, as I said before, they are NOT required. The sooner everyone can be honest with themselves, the sooner we will see “high horses” ride off into the sunset and never come back ( I realize that is only in a perfect world, but I am hopeful….).

Unfortunately, there are not just individual “high horses” out there, but herds of them that come together and sometimes look like a certain church (yes, I said that!), or a certain organization, or a certain media outlet, or a certain fill in the blank with so many things…..and they can be devastating to people. The “what is acceptable and what is not” propaganda, and the judgements on who people are, is unbelievable. And it is divisive. And it is hateful. I just don’t get it. We see it every day on the news, and in our daily lives. This is a harder “high horse” to dismount, I understand that, however, if we all would take an individual look at ourselves and dismount our own “high horses”, then the group dynamics can change. I truly believe that. It HAS to start with every one of us. It had to start with me way back when, and I know I have to continue to have self checks along the way, so not to hop on a different “high horse”….

So, my friend, today I ask you to take an honest self inventory with yourself, and if you find that your “high horse” likes to come out for daily walks in the pasture, I will ask you to decide to leave it back in the stable. You will be happier for it. I promise.

I also want you to know that this type of honesty is not easy for me to write. It is still hard to say out loud to myself and others my flaws and not so flattering life choices, but being honest with who I am as a person and writing my truths down is what I know I am supposed to do. Not for your benefit, but for my own. Sometimes the ugly truth is the best truth we can tell.

Make it a great (and “high horse” free) day!

Kalee xo

 

Woman Crush Wednesday

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Today I am participating in “Woman Crush Wednesday”. The fact that I actually wrote that out and didn’t just put #wcw tells you how often I do it, and how cool I really am (not very).
 
Anyway, I love and adore this beautiful soul…Elizabeth Gilbert. Her book “Eat, Pray, Love” completely changed my life. Just in case you are one of the very few who have never read it, get out there today and get it! Read it. Let it envelop your soul. Man, I just loved it AND her! My solo trip to Berlin, Germany back in 2009 was inspired by her words, and those words and that trip were the catalyst for where I am today, in so many ways. This is one of my favorite quotes from Liz (yes, I feel like we are bff’s and I can call her Liz, because about 2 years ago she responded to one of my Facebook comments….true story), well, in all reality, she calls herself Liz, but whatever…..here you go:
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TRUTH!! Preach it sister!! Happiness is YOURS to be had, my friend! My favorite part of that quote is when she says insist upon it! Yes. Go out there today and insist upon your happiness dear friend. You are worth it. So am I!
Big love from me to you (and Liz…) 😉
Kalee xo

Me Too

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My husband and I were at a Valentine’s dinner last night with a group of great friends. We shared lots of laughter and good food together, but most of all, we shared the love of friendship with each other on a day that is typically reserved for romantic love. It was a wonderful time and I think it might be the start of a new tradition (well, I better ask the rest of them first, but I like the idea!)……Friends are so important, and the friendships where you can be completely yourself with are the ones that need to be nurtured and cared for, so why not spend the “day of love” with them?!

As the evening went on, we shared stories about our lives, our kids, our jobs and just life in general. What struck me most about our different conversations was how many times one of us said or implied “me, too”! Sometimes it was a verbal acknowledgement, and sometimes it was the nod of the head, or the look in the other person’s eyes that was saying, “I know exactly what you mean..me, too”, and it made me happy. It made me feel validated, not in a way where my self worth needed to be validated (that can only come from within, my friend..), but in a way where you realize EVERYONE is fighting a battle of some sort, or has already trudged through the muddy waters of life, and has been ever changed because of it. There is so much comfort in knowing we are not alone in our life experiences (the theme here at GIHY), and genuine gratitude in someone else saying “me, too”!

I think as we get older and experience more things in life, the “me, too’s” become more reflective and unfortunately, more relative to a negative experience, but don’t we also love to find the people whose “me, too’s” support our happy times as well? You like to travel? ME TOO! You like to drink wine? ME TOO! You love 80’s music and all things Duran Duran? ME TOO! You like to wear yoga pants and a baseball hat most days? ME TOO! You really only like to exercise in theory? ME TOO! Okay, you get the point….the moments of “me, too” don’t always have to be negative, but when we find someone who shares in those painful, negative “me, too’s” there is an instant sense of camaraderie that comes into play, and an immediate urge to hug the other person (okay, maybe that is just me…).

Lets face it, we are all dealing with different versions of the same shit in life. The earlier we realize this, and the more we say it out loud, the better we all will be for it and the world becomes less scary. We need to teach our young people this, and we need to encourage other adults that it is okay to let go of the control and pride we might be feeling, and let someone else support us through life’s ugly “me, too’s”.  Believe me, there are people out there, my friend, who have in the past, or currently are, experiencing whatever it is that you would love for someone else to say to you, “me, too”. I promise.

As you start this new week, be mindful of how you interact with others, and if you find that you are having a “me, too” moment with someone, please let them know. It just might make all the difference to that person for that day. And for all the positive “me, too” moments you come across this week, celebrate them. Let the other person know, you know exactly how they feel, and enjoy the feeling of happiness that those moments bring. This is what life is all about, my friend. The connections we experience with each other is why we are all here. Enjoy the daily moments. Grab on to the “me, too” moments and don’t let go.

As a reminder, just do the best you can today, and then do the best you can tomorrow, and the following day….after all, that is all any of us can do!

Happy Monday sweet friend! Deep gratitude to all of you who have ever said to me…..“me, too”!

Kalee xo

Top 10 List Of Why People Suck Sometimes

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Good morning my friend! As a former Starbucks employee, ( yes, I had a short, 4 month stint back in the Fall as a barista), and with a daughter who waits tables while she is getting ready to start esthetician school, I have decided to write a top 10 list of why people suck sometimes. This is necessary, because one, you won’t believe the crazy, and two, if you see yourself in any of these, please pause, take a deep breath and re-think your actions the next time you are being served somewhere.  For those of you who have worked any type of customer service job, I applaud you, I will continue to tip you well, and because lets face it….well….YOU JUST KNOW……

I remember when I was working at Starbucks, it was like a game of seeing if my unbelievable stories of customers from that day could beat out the previous days. My friends and family would ask, “Well? What happened today“?…and inevitably, there was at least one incident that would make their eyes widen. Now, the game has shifted to my daughter. The first thing she talks about after any shift are the experiences with people that make you want to sing that oh so great C + C Music Factory song, “Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm”….(yes, I am old, my friend….OLD!) 😉 It’s true.

So, in honor of my past experiences, my daughter’s current experiences, and anyone else’s current or future customer service experiences, I present to you the Top 10 List Of Why People Suck Sometimes (when it comes to customer service jobs in the food industry):

  1. Of course I will remake your coffee m’aam after you drank more than half of it and then decided it was the wrong coffee.
  2. Leaving a written tip, such as, “You are loved, come visit ________ church”, or “beautiful eyes”, or “beautiful smile”, all while NOT leaving a financial tip is unacceptable. Thanks for the compliment, but compliments don’t pay bills.
  3. No m’aam, the fact that your toddler son wants to play “choo choo train” with his biscuits and sends the “train” of biscuits flying off the table onto the floor is NOT cute, so please don’t laugh. Please don’t tell him “how cute”.
  4. I’m sorry that you think it is MY fault that I have never met you before and yet I am still supposed to know what you order every day at other coffee shops in the area.
  5. Of course sir, we will take the food off the bill…the food you ordered, yet changed your mind on…THREE times!
  6. Please wear shoes.
  7. I’m sorry m’aam that your husband feels the need to scream at me because I don’t read lips, and because when you were barely whispering to me your order that I then repeated back to you twice, that I brought you pinto beans when you lip synced green beans. (and yes, I heard you talking in a regular voice as I passed by the table later…)
  8. No, if you pay for a tall, you don’t get a Venti. You didn’t say Venti, and you knew that when you paid, the price was a tall, so please don’t expect a magic transformation to happen that your coffee grows in size after you pay for it.
  9. Oh, I’m sorry that we did not hold the last vanilla bean scone for you, believe it or not, you are NOT the only coffee customer today, really.
  10. If you have an order that requires 4 or more drink carriers, or you are wanting 50 individual gift cards, please don’t use the drive through. The people behind you are cussing you out.

 

Oh my friend, the list can go on and on…..but this hopefully gives you a little perspective (and probably a “no way that happens” in real life thought…oh YES, IT DOES…), and probably also a little bit of a laugh to get your day started. As you enjoy your beautiful Saturday, be a little more patient, and a little more kinder to the people you come across today that might be serving you. They are doing their job (and yes, let’s face it, even though all of us could also make a top 10 list on why service industry people suck, because the flip side is also true sometimes), for the most part, these people are working hard, and love being able to serve you. So let them, and reward them. Be kind.

Well, off to talk to my daughter for a bit before she starts her 9am shift at her restaurant. More stories to be told later on I am sure. Haha!

Have an awesome Saturday!

Kalee xoxo

***side note: for anyone interested in another not-so-funny customer service story, go into the December archives here on my website and read my blog post titled NO ASSHOLES. The title says it all. 🙂